The 27 Best Anti-Aging Tips of All Time
How to look younger than your years
There are simpler—and less invasive—ways to look younger than botox and cosmetic surgery. Try incorporating a few of these habits into your daily routine that won't just leave you with fresh-looking hair and skin—it'll boost your overall energy. Watch the video to learn how.
Skip the straw
Of all the places on your body, you face can truly show your age if you don't take steps to keep your skin healthy. That includes common precautions such as maintaining a well-balanced diet that is rich in good fats and using UV protection. But there are also quite a few ways that you may be aging your face without knowing it. Watch the video for more.
Seriously, don't smoke
Add this to the already-long list of reasons to quit. While less serious than reducing your chances of getting lung cancer or heart disease, smoking also damages your looks. The habit takes a major toll on your appearance, contributing to premature skin aging, wrinkles, stained teeth, and even increased psoriasis risk.
“Smoking increases wrinkles due to facial motion, and it also has a vasoconstricting effect, which means it chokes off blood vessel circulation,” says dermatologist David Stoll, MD, author of A Woman’s Skin.
Eat your antioxidants
Vitamin B12 helps your body produce DNA and red blood cells, supports your immune system, and encourages healthy nerve function. Watch the video to learn which foods are high in this essential nutrient.
Fill up on fermented foods
You probably already know that foods like kimchi, sauerkraut, tempeh, and other probiotic-rich foods are good for your gut. Turns out they may also combat premature aging.
“Fermented foods have excellent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties,” says Craig Kraffert, MD, a board certified dermatologist and president of Amarte.
Beauty products that are made with fermented extracts may also make a difference. Dr. Kraffert recommends products that contain ingredients like fermented gingko biloba nut or mushroom extract. “The most commonly cited benefits of fermented extracts within skincare products are skin calming and brightening,” he says.
Pack on the protein
You consume plenty of protein by eating meat and eggs, but you can also get protein in an array of other foods, all of which are meat-free. Watch this video for some surprising sources of protein.
Cut back on sugar
As if the risk for obesity, diabetes, and heart disease wasn’t enough, sugar may take a toll on your skin, too. In a 2010 study, researchers found a link between dietary sugars like glucose and greater production of advanced glycation end products (AGES).
But if you have a sweet tooth, don’t panic just yet. “The supportive scientific and clinical data, while growing, remains limited,” says Dr. Kraffert. So enjoy sugar in small amounts, and focus more on leading an active lifestyle and eating an overall balanced diet.
Sleep on a silk pillowcase
Insufficient sleep is linked to a host of health problems, from depression to cardiovascular disease. Make sure you're falling asleep quickly so you can get a good night's rest. Watch this video for six simple tricks to avoid insomnia.
Sleep on your back
Always sleep on your side? The habit could be causing lines to form on the cheek that’s constantly pressed against the pillow. “Sleeping on one side can definitely cause wrinkles on that side alone,” says Dr. Stoll. “I’ve seen this many times.”
Side-sleepers may want to switch to their backs—and not just to prevent wrinkles. Back-sleeping eases neck and back pain, fights acid reflux, and even helps prevent saggy breasts.
Fill up on healthy fats
Not all fats are created equal. Eating foods rich in healthful fats can protect your heart and help you absorb a host of vitamins. Watch the video to learn which high-fat foods you can cross off your no-no list.
Make exercise a priority
We all know how important exercising is for our health, but for some of us, maintaining a consistent fitness routine can be elusive. One key to staying consistent with exercising is finding an activity that you enjoy (and don't dread), so search for something that gets you excited. Watch the video for the other easy ways that you can stay motivated.
Manage your stress
Help yourself relax almost anywhere.
Exfoliate the right way
Exfoliating using beads or chemical peels is a go-to skincare strategy for sloughing off dead skin and revealing a smoother complexion underneath—but it’s important to make sure you’re not aggravating your face in the process. “Too much exfoliation is counterproductive,” says Dr. Stoll. He recommends talking to your dermatologist about the best exfoliation method for your skin type.
Get on the retinoid bandwagon
If you only have one anti-aging product in your medicine cabinet, make it a retinoid. Dermatologists love this powerful skincare ingredient (a derivative of vitamin A) for its ability to accelerate cell renewal.
“Retinoids turn over skin cells and boost collagen production, which leads to more youthful-looking skin,” says Dr. Lamb.
New to retinoids? The ingredient can be drying, so start off slowly by working products with a lower percentage into your regimen, and then working your way up. For an over-the-counter option, we love Roc Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Night Cream ($17; target.com), which is one of the highest strength, non-prescription formulas you can get.
Scale back on salt
You already know that eating high-sodium foods make your body retain water, leaving you feeling heavy and bloated. So it should come as no surprise that super-salty fare triggers a similar response in your face, giving you a puffier appearance (under your eyes, for example). To cut back gradually, start cooking with salt-free flavor boosters such as chili peppers, lemon juice, and fresh herbs. Not only will you look less bloated, but a low-sodium diet will also reduce your risk of high blood pressure and stroke.
Drink plenty of H2O
Are you drinking enough water each day? With these tips from Holley Grainger, RD, filling up on the recommended 13 to 16 cups is easier than you think. Watch this Cooking Light video to learn more.
Go easy on the booze
Speaking of drinking: Alcohol dehydrates the body, so think twice before having that second glass of wine. “Dehydrated skin is more likely to appear dry, sallow, dull, and crepey,” Dr. Nussbaum says. Be especially careful of white wine: the acid in white wine can damage your enamel and make your teeth more susceptible to long-lasting stains.
Take care of your hands
You’ve heard it before: your hands age before any other part of your body. And why wouldn’t they? Hands simply don’t receive the same TLC that we lavish on the rest of our bodies in terms of sun protection and anti-aging creams. And that means that years of sun exposure and working with our hands can cause spots, wrinkles, and discolored nails. Thankfully, there are ways to reverse signs of aging hands. Watch the video to learn a few of the best ways to make them look young again.
Take time off your chest
Another often-forgotten patch of skin: your chest. Too much sun exposure when you're young may leave you with blotchy, freckled skin in the short term, and down the line, you may notice wrinkles, loose skin, and white spots.
“Your best bet is to stop daily damage before it gets serious,” says Dr. Kraffert. To keep your décolletage from deteriorating, wear sunscreen on days you're not wearing clothing that covers your chest.
And if you already have sun damage, moisturize the area before bed with an over-the-counter retinol such as Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Moisturizer SPF 30, or with a cream that contains melanin production inhibitors to brighten skin. “Adding other skin-brightening ingredients such as sulfur and botanical extracts will help, too,” says Dr. Kraffert.
Wash your face before bed
You know you’re supposed to do it, but sometimes you just… don’t. We get it. But experts stress that failing to wash your face at the end of the day is a major missed opportunity for skin to regenerate while you sleep (not to mention, it ups your chances of waking up with clogged pores).
“Skin renews itself overnight, so if you want to change the way your skin functions, the most important ingredients should be applied before bed,” Olga Lorencin-Northrup, founder and lead aesthetician of Kinara Spa in Los Angeles previously told Health.
Get serious about sunscreen
Safe-sun practices help you avoid wrinkles and dark spots, but there are other benefits as well. In fact, not being diligent about sunscreen application can have dire consequences. The UV exposure from the sun can cause skin cancer, including melanoma (the deadliest kind). Make sure that you don't put yourself at unnecessary risk. Watch this video to learn about the most common mistakes people make when applying sunscreen, and how you can avoid them and stay healthy.
Sleep it off
You should think of sleep as being another essential step in your skincare routine. “Sleep is super important in allowing the body to regenerate, and the skin is no different,” says Dr. Nussbaum. Not only will plenty of shut-eye let skin cells regenerate overnight, but it will also help prevent dark under-eye circles, she says. Certain foods can also help you sleep so stock your fridge with these sleep inducers if you're having shut eye issues.
Visit a dermatologist
Booking regular appointments with your dermatologist will ensure that you’re up-to-date on the latest anti-aging skincare developments. Your doctor may recommend treatments for more dramatic results than you’d get from home remedies or even from a trip to the spa.
For example, Dr. Stoll says he might suggest an exfoliating peel that contains glycolic or trichloracetic acid for patients. “Aestheticians can legally use up to 20%, but doctors can use stronger strengths, like 70% glycolic acid,” he explains.
Moisturize before skin dries
Moisturizing takes more effort than just slapping some lotion on your face. All those pricey anti-aging products you’ve invested in will work more effectively if you use them on clean, moist skin, says Dr. Kraffert. When you get out of the shower, he suggests applying lotion within three minutes—before water on skin has a chance to fully evaporate. “Not only will you get the benefits of the moisturizer itself, but you’ll help seal in the hydration from the water,” he explains. “If you wait too long and that water evaporates from your skin, it can take some of your body’s natural moisture with it.”
Load up on vitamin C
Experts are divided on whether or not a diet that includes lots of vitamin C superfoods such as citrus, peppers, and kale can ward off signs of aging. But it certainly can't hurt to add more of these foods to your plate. In a 2007 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers found that people who ate vitamin C-rich foods had fewer wrinkles and less age-related dry skin than those who did not.
A vitamin C serum may offer more noticeable benefits. “Topical vitamin C is much more important for preventing wrinkles than oral vitamin C,” says Dr. Stoll. Our top pick: Vichy LiftActiv Vitamin C Serum ($29; dermstore.com) which packs anti-aging benefits without breaking the bank.
Brighten your smile
Stained, yellowed teeth can add years to your face. To feel more confident about your smile, remove stains with whitening toothpaste, strips, or trays (we're big fans of Crest 3D White Whitestrips Gentle Routine Teeth Whitening Kit, which is gentle enough for sensitive teeth). You can also prevent discoloration by getting regular dental cleanings and brushing your teeth after drinking red wine, coffee, and soda, or eating foods with sticky sauces such as barbecue or soy—some of the worst culprits.
Watch the way you text
Like sipping through a straw, the repetitive motion of looking down at your smartphone can eventually cause rings to show up on your neck. “Fine lines and wrinkles can form over decades’ time through repeat motions,” says Dr. Nussbaum.
While there’s no fast fix, maintaining good posture and holding your smartphone at eye level can help. Dr. Nussbaum also recommends applying a firming lotion daily. “I favor lotions that are formulated with antioxidants and ingredients like shea butter and argan oil,” she says.
Let up on the heat styling
Can't imagine going a day without straightening your hair? Laying off the flatiron even just two days a week can restore your hair's bounce and shine—and make you look younger in the process. Master the wet bun, learn to love dry shampoo, or embrace your natural texture and allow your mane to air dry. These are our favorite styling products that make air-dried hair look amazing.